NEW DELHI: Foreign ministers of the Quad nations on Friday reaffirmed the grouping’s commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, saying it supports the rule of law, sovereignty, territorial integrity and peaceful settlement of disputes, which was a loaded message directed at China.
A joint statement issued after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, his Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi, Australia’s Penny Wong and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met, announced the formation of a Quad working group on counter-terror. It will explore measures to counter new and emerging forms of terrorism, radicalisation and violent extremism. The first meeting of the working group will be held in the US later this year.
The statement condemned all terror attacks, including 26/11 in Mumbai and Pathankot attacks. “We express our concern at attempts to politicise the working of the UNSC Sanctions Regimes and call on all states to maintain the transparent, objective and evidence-based working methods of UNSC Sanctions Committees,” the joint statement said. It again was a comment on China delaying attempts to proscribe terrorists based in Pakistan by placing resolutions on technical hold.
Unlike the G20 forum, there was no divergence in the Quad on addressing the Ukraine situation, which it referred to as a conflict. It concurred that the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible while underscoring the need for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine.
The four ministers later participated in a session at the ongoing Raisina Dialogue here.“For us, the future is so much in the Indo-Pacific. Our engagement throughout the region, both through the Quad and in other ways, is as comprehensive and as deep as any time I can remember,” Blinken said.